Magazine Contents | January- February 2013

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

How Knowledge Helps In Controlling Your Future

By Sandra Dawes

When my father passed away 8 years ago, life as I had known it changed in ways I could have never imagined. I had lost my support system, my best friend, and the most amazing father a girl could dream of having! I was lost for a long time, not sure what the future had in store for me and if I would be equipped to deal with it. I felt alone and my emotions were all over the place – from heavy sadness to maniacal anger. I was truly a basket case. I sought professional help, but when the suggestion of putting me on anti-depressants arose, I ran for the hills, knowing that wasn’t the solution for me.

After several years of wallowing in self-pity and feeling like the world was punishing me for unknown sins, I grew tired of my emotional state and decided something needed to be done. I knew that positive thoughts were the solution. Being in a constant state of happiness wasn’t easy and I realized that I needed to get more information. An admitted bookworm, I started buying as many books as I could. I learned that emotions matter in the course we take in life; that negative moods mean we are off course; that every thought matters. I was starting to realize that my victim mindset, the belief that life was happening to me was actually causing me more of the grief.

With some knowledge I gained from Wayne Dyer, Michael Beckwith, Louise Hay and others, I started to take more control of my life. I knew that I had a lot of work to do, but I was up for the challenge, because I knew that I deserved a life that was better. I wanted to tap into the power that lay within me. I was finally realizing as Marianne Williamson says in the well-known passage from her book A Return To Love, that my “playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure.” I was building my self- confidence and self-esteem and taking charge of my life.

While I was reading a lot and had started different daily practices like meditation and writing a gratitude journal, I was still a far way from where I wanted to be, so I decided to get some help. I hired a life coach back in 2009 for 2 reasons: the first being that I knew I needed someone to help me take my life to the next level, the second being that I had been inspired to consider coaching as a future career myself and figured I should experience the process from the client side as well.

The six weeks that I worked one-on-one with a coach were the most reflective time of my life. I had already developed a mission statement for myself thanks to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, but now I was being asked to figure out how I was going to manifest that mission in my life. I developed a “bucket list” of 101 things I wanted to do before I died, then was asked to pick one that would be the focus on the continuation of our work together. I decided to make the development of my own coaching practice the focus and the process helped me to do all the things I had been talking about for months.

I got to register a business name and web domain, develop a business plan, and because my confidence was growing on a continuous basis, I was able to ask for what I wanted from the organization where I was a full-time employee at the time, so that I could focus on developing my business, with the mid- term goal of making it a full time livelihood. I have found my passion and I am so excited about what the future holds.

Starting my coaching practice has pushed me out of my comfort zone in ways I couldn’t have imagined, providing me with the opportunity to run workshops of my own and getting out and networking with other inspirational individuals and even running workshops on a volunteer basis with a youth shelter. It has also helped me to reconnect with loves that I had forgotten about, like writing and of course reading, because continuous learning is a must! I chose the name ‘Embrace Your Destiny’ for my company, because it’s what I feel like I’m finally doing in becoming a coach, and it’s what I want to help others do as well. It’s about overcoming our self-imposed limitations, or the limits that have been placed consciously or unconsciously by our friends and family.

The understanding that everything is about choice has been such a big breakthrough for me. No matter what the situation is, you have a choice as to how you are going to react to it: are you going to make it affect you in a negative way, hindering your progress, destroying your health and peace of mind, or are you going to look at whatever the experience is and see the potential lesson, observe it and move on? I know that I spent far too much of my life letting things happen to me, now I know that nothing has the power to affect me unless I allow it to do so and that knowledge is a game changer!

Sandra Dawes is a Life Coach and Inspirational Speaker.
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